Just like its name implies, Android served up a mobile update that you can truly savor. The latest Android OS, Lollipop 5.1.1, is far more than a tune-up—it’s an all-out overhaul. And if you haven’t downloaded it yet, here are just a few major features to stimulate your interest in Google’s latest sweet treat for mobile devices:
Slick new look
On the exterior, Lollipop gives users a whole new look to delve into. Colorful, bold, interactive and dynamic-Lollipop has a design that's just delightful to browse. Dubbed "Material," the new interface features crisp shadows for depth and smooth, lively interactions for greater navigation than ever before. With a bright color palette, fresh typography and fluid, physics-based movement, Lollipop focuses on an enhanced user interface that's clean, minimalist and simply better.
Easier setup and device switch
Switching from a KitKat device to Lollipop? If both devices feature NFC capabilities, all it takes is one tap between the two and-just like that-Lollipop sets up your new phone with your previously-installed apps, wallpaper and screen layout. It even takes note of preferences such as your Wi-Fi connection settings or location selections.
Even if you don't have NFC, Android Lollipop gives you an option to manually restore settings from a previous device, which-despite the laborious sound of this process-is really quite easy. Simply sign into your Google™ account, choose the Android device you want to restore, and you're good to go. This doesn't cover quite as much as the 'Tap and Go' method, but it at least makes keeping the apps you can't live without much easier.
Sync with TVs, watches and other devices
One of the most praiseworthy features of Lollipop is its all-encompassing effort to sync with other Android devices and systems. Not surprisingly, the OS reaches out to more than just smartphones or tablets. Still debating whether or not a smartwatch purchase is in your future? Perhaps the fact that Lollipop’s list of connected devices includes an update for smartwatches, your TV and even your car may help persuade you. You can start browsing, listening or watching on one device and pick up where you left off on another.
Your Google account acts as a master key between your Gmail™, Drive™, Docs™ and more. Lollipop provides better access to all of your apps, photos, documents and music no matter what device you’re on.
Lollipop has a suite of improved security features worth getting excited about.
- Increased protection, including automatic encryption, helps ensure the privacy of sensitive data if your device is lost or stolen. Protect against malware with SE (security-enhanced) Linux software.
- Android Smart Lock pairs your device with other trusted devices (such as a recognized smartwatch) as a means of verifying your identity. If a trusted device is nearby, you can operate your smartphone or tablet without having to constantly reenter PINs or passcodes.
- Multi User and Guest Modes enable easier sharing features that are built right in. Pass off your device while keeping people out of more personal information with Guest Mode. Or, if you share your device with family members, create multiple customizable profiles for ease of use.
- Screen pinning confines users to a designated app or screen (perfect for toddlers) so that they can only access what you’ve “pinned.”
Users will have an entirely new notification system built around the tried and true tenet: there is a time and place for everything.
- Priority mode is a wonderful feature for Android Lollipop. Set priority with your phone’s volume control toggle to determine what messages, calls and notifications are considered important enough to go through and what needs to wait—absolutely perfect for work.
- Lock screen notifications can still be customized (you control which texts and alerts make it through), but Lollipop lets you respond to these messages right from the lock screen.
- Interruptions subside with prioritized notifications for apps and a time-sensitive notification system. No more phone calls putting a halt on what you’re doing if you choose to ignore them for the time being. And no more incessant app notifications all day, every day.
Other Android Lollipop features
The perks don’t end there—and we hate to leave anything out—especially since Android Lollipop brings some valuable updates to the table in terms of additional utility and graphics.
- A built-in battery saver feature (not supported by all devices) elongates your device’s battery life by up to 90 minutes, while giving estimated time left in addition to how much time is left to fully charge when plugged in.
- Raw, uncompressed images are supported on Lollipop. For pro photographers and enthusiasts alike, this means your photos can make their way to Adobe Photoshop® uncompressed, retaining full, original quality.
- Amplified audio support allows for connection to a new realm of audio equipment, including USB microphones, speakers, mixers, amps and more.